Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Audiobook Week: Mid-week Meme

We are halfway through Audiobook Week 2011, and our lovely host Jen at Devourer of Books has compiled a list of thoughtful questions about all things audio.  (Jen was kind enough to send me these questions in advance of my trip so I could pre-post.  Thanks Jen, you rock!)


Current/most recent audiobook:
  I'm currently listening to "Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman, read by Lenny Henry.  I've had this baby on my iPod for over a year, originally recommended to me by Carrie at Books and Movies.


Impressions: That I am an idiot for waiting this long to listen to this book.  I mean, you know Gaiman right?  He is just a few steps off the path of normal, and his uniqueness tickles my fancy.  I've never listened to Lenny Henry before, but he is nailing the most wonderful Caribbean and British accents.  My ears and heart are happy.

Current favorite audiobook:  That is really not a fair question.  Like asking which child is my favorite.  My brain threatens to explode if I even try to think about it.  So I will narrow down the field and tell you my favorite audio from 2011, which is still not an easy task.  In choosing a favorite audio, it has to be a combination of a great story and a great narrator.  If one of these aspects doesn't deliver, it becomes a mediocre experience.  That being said, I'd have to say that my favorite this year would be "A Visit From the Good Squad" by Jennifer Egan, narrated by Roxana Ortega.  Runner up?  "Revolution" by Jennifer Donnelly, narrated by Emily Janice Card, which will be reviewed tomorrow.

One narrator who always makes you choose audio over print: Sorry Jen, I'm not going to be able to stick to one narrator, because there are a few that must be mentioned.  It's that favorite kid thing again.

Simon Vance will always have my audio heart.  Not only would I refuse a printed copy of anything he narrated, I will even seek him out just to get more of him.  Known as the voice of the Stieg Larsson trilogy, he's got so much more going on than that, and is regularly awarded for his excellence every year in the Audies.

Emily Janice Card is a new find for me.  She narrated "Revolution" by Jennifer Donnelly.  I was so taken with her, I grabbed "The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott", which is a book I never would have read otherwise.  (I never even read "Little Women"!)  She is a delight to listen to.

Cassandra Campbell keeps finding her way into my ears, and she is always a highlight.  Some of my most treasured audios..."The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks", "The School of Essential Ingredients", "You Know When the Men Are Gone"...all of them brought to me through her capable voice.

Genre you most often choose to listen to:  I am an equal opportunity audio listener, so my audio lineup reflects my overall interests.  I've listened to non-fiction, memoirs, literary fiction, social commentary, comedy, crime thrillers, horror, you name it.  I have found, though, that short stories do not translate well on audio for some reason.


If given the choice, you will always choose audio when:  there is an audio available.  Audios are much easier for me to crank through than print, because I don't sit down during the day, and at night when I do, I fall asleep.  I will also always choose audio for longer books.

There are also a few authors that must be experienced in audio only.  David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, and Joshilyn Jackson all self-narrate, and deliver their books in the spirit in which they are intended.  Seriously, if I were offered any of their books in print, I would refuse them.

If given the choice, you will always choose print when: the book is a collectible or the cover is so gorgeous it must me kept and admired.  I don't find myself in this position often though.  I would also refuse an audio if I knew I didn't like the narrator.  I won't mention names, because I don't want to be mean, but there are some that make the hair on my neck stand up, and I swear I will never listen to them again.

What are some of your audio highs and lows?  Current listens?  Please share! 


Unknown said...

I haven't listened to enough to have a favourite narrator yet, but I'm sure that will come soon. :-)

bermudaonion said...

You forgot Scott Brick and Maggi-Meg Reed!

Carrie K. said...

So glad you're loving Anansi Boys! And if you love Cassandra Campbell, you should listen to Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani, if you haven't already. All those luscious Italian words!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Anansi Boys is one of my favorite audiobooks! I've just requested The Lost Summer audio from my library, can't wait it.

Zibilee said...

I have only read one Gaiman book, and while I liked it, it wasn't a total favorite for me. I would also love to listen to Goon Squad and see how the audio was performed. Right now I am listening to The Iron Hunt which I am slowly plodding through. It's just very slow, and the narrator is so dramatic that it's sort of ruining the book for me.

Jen - devourer of books said...

I'm reviewing REVOLUTION tomorrow too. I did really like Emily Janice Card's narration.

Beth F said...

I often buy books in both audio and print. Yeah, I'm crazy.

Jenners said...

I need to listen to this Simon Vance dude!

And I can see that Sarah Vowell would not quite be the same in print.

Kathleen said...

Sad to say I have still never taken a liking to audiobooks but when I hear you talk about them I am tempted to give them a try again!

Melissa said...

Simon Vance is awesome. I just finished the Millennium Trilogy this week, and I'm pretty sure I would have given up on the books in print (all those details and place names!), but his narration was wonderful and I loved the books.